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New report says Camden 'eds and meds' having $2 billion economic impact on city

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U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross speaks Monday at Cooper before the Camden Higher Education and Healthcare Task Force.
U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross speaks Monday at Cooper before the Camden Higher Education and Healthcare Task Force. - ()

A task force comprised of Camden's higher education and health care leaders has released a new report indicating that its nine anchor institutions have had an economic impact of more than $2 billion on the city, while creating more than 2,300 new jobs.

The report, presented by the Camden Higher Education and Healthcare Task Force on Monday at Cooper, drew on collaborative data from 2010 to 2014 with the purpose of measuring the success of Camden “eds and meds” leaders such as CAMcare Health Corp., Camden County College, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Cooper University Health Care, Lourdes Health System, Rowan University, the Rowan and Rutgers Board of Governors, Rutgers University Camden and Virtua.

“Whether it’s creating more jobs, increasing overall pay and providing better access to health care and higher education, the eds and meds have impacted Camden’s health and well-being in numerous ways, both concrete and intangible,” task force chair and Cooper Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances Louis Bezich said.

The report also found that the number of jobs at member institutions grew 25 percent from 2010 to 2014, making up 40 percent of all jobs in Camden, and also during that time, payroll grew from roughly $565 million to $797 million. Of the more than 12,000 employees at member institutions, 9 percent were city residents.

Cooper CEO and President Adrienne Kirby said it is “very exciting to be a part of this and see this happen.”

“We all want Camden to be the best it can be,” Kirby said.

“We didn’t get here overnight and it’s not going to change overnight,” said U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Cherry Hill).

Norcross was a primary sponsor of the 2013 Economic Opportunity Act when he was a state senator. Since being signed into law, Camden and its eds and meds community have been major benefactors of state-approved incentive programs.

Camden Mayor Dana Redd said that she would like to eventually have another task force report on the economic impact of the city’s incentive-driven projects.

“This is certainly a great day and progress report for Camden, New Jersey,” said Redd.

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